In pictures humming bird feeders use red solution ...

albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)August 19, 2011

... but here in the high deserts the only humming birds I ever see are around the lavender colored flowers. We've lavender and Russian sage which attracts hummingbirds. The neighbors red feeder never sees a humming bird. What gives?

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PaulDavid63

I have never used a red dye in my hummer nectar. As for nectar flowers that hummers use, they might be white, lavender, red, or pink. The birds know what has nectar. Lots of hummingbird feeders that I see hanging have not had the nectar changed in 2 months or two years. A hummer will not drink this stuff. Just cleaned my mother-in-law's feeder that had months old nectar, but had not been cleaned in years. All ports were completely clogged up with black mold. Many people buy a feeder, fill it up and wait for it to become empty several months down the road. Just doesn't work that way.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 3:57PM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

The red dye issue is just too silly. Why risk the life of a hummer by adding the unnecessary red dye? It's believed that most feeders have enough red on them to attract hummers without the red dye. Also, letting the solution go bad can cause serious health issues with the hummers. If you can't keep them clean with fresh solution, then do the hummers a favor and don't hang them. I change my solution about every day or two. You might want to check out more information about hummers on the web. There are lots of good websites.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 10:45PM
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hummersteve

Im not sure if you are saying your neighbors feeder is red or its the solution you are referring to. Most hummer feeders are red. But adding red dye is thought to be harmfull to the hummers so should not be used. Also feeders if neglected will develop mold which is definitely potentially harmful to hummers.

If you see mold develop fill a sink half-full of hot water , add 1 cup of clorox bleach and soak for at least an hour.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 12:05PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

I just experienced a humming bird homing in on the red solution. The neighbors kid threw something over the fence. It looked like a drinking straw with red content, solution or gel or candy or something.

I picked it up and a humming bird came in and stuck his beak into the straw. Two or three inches from my finger. It hovered there for several seconds. A most interesting experience.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 3:11PM
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garden148

I love Humming Birds!!! That sounds like a great experience!!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 11:32AM
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julysun

My daughter has large feeders that are very dark red, too much so IMHO but the birds come in swarms. Folks there before my favorite daughter fed the hummers so they remember, or so I have read. Anyway, I do clear nectar in red feeders. I am to deaf to hear any complaints! Which brings that up, my kids claim that there is a constant squeaking when their birds are fueding fighting and feeding, do any of you hear that?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 1:35PM
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PaulDavid63

Of course the hummers make several noises, one of which is a chirping or squeaking noise. Think I will paint one feeder black next year just to see.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 4:31PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)
    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 1:44PM
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mboston_gw

We have had banders come down to band hummers in the winter here and one did a presentation. He said that if a hummer goes to a feeder that has bad sugar water that it will not return to that feeder even if it has been cleaned out and filled with new sugar water. He says you will have to move it to another location before it will be used again.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 7:43PM
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lgteacher(SCal)

Yes, hummingbirds do make different sounds. I usually hear them before I see them. They are especially noisy when they want to chase you away, or when they chase each other from their territory.

Here is a link that might be useful: What's Growing On?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 6:42PM
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roper2008 (7b)(7b)

This last summer when I was at wildbirds unlimited store. They
told me that the red dye necter sold at wal-mart makes the eggshells
of the hummers thin. So red dye is not good in feeders.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 5:02PM
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catlover229(9)

At some stores they sell the red nectar, it has red dye in it. I would never add red dye, and would not have bought it if I knew it had the red dye in it. I thought maybe they used strawberry or cherry or other natural red color. I since then bought the clear, and they like it just as much.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 9:45PM
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dave_k_gw

I used to buy the Perky Pet Instant Nectar. It's red, and it's supposed to include extra nutrients, as I recall. I don't think it does any harm. These days I use ordinary cane sugar from my kitchen, no color. It's easier than running to the Home Depot for the mix, and when hummingbirds visit my feeder, they seem to come back. I take it as a vote of confidence. :-)

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 10:34PM
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glledo

The red dye really is harmful to hummers. We have a natural spring plumbed into the house for our water source. I bring the spring water to a boil, then add pure cane sugar at a 1:1 ratio. This ratio allows the female hummers more time and energy with nest building and hunting for insects to feed their young. At a 1:1 ratio, they only have to fill up on sugar water about 5 times an hour. At a 4:1 ratio, they will have to fill up about 14 times an hour, giving them less time for finding insects for protein.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 10:34PM
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